Tag Archives: Hoffman’s

A roundup of Santa Cruz and Monterey County restaurant Thanksgiving offerings

The main dining area at Solaire, one of several local restaurants serving a special Thanksgiving menu Photo credit: Hotel Paradox

The main dining area at Solaire, one of many local restaurants serving a special Thanksgiving menu
Photo credit: Hotel Paradox

The countdown to Thanksgiving is on – if you’re planning to dine out in the Santa Cruz area or in Monterey County, here are a few restaurants to consider.

Santa Cruz & Capitola

Solaire at Hotel Paradox offers an a la carte Thanksgiving menu from 4-10 p.m. The nature/nurture-themed menu highlights local, sustainable cuisine with fresh ingredients. Entree choices include Roasted Turkey with mashed potato, stuffing, blue lake beans and gravy, Slow Roasted Prime rib, Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb, and Zucchini Fritters with spinach, red cabbage and chive cream. Other highlights include roasted pumpkin soup, butternut squash salad, and cranberry white chocolate chunk graham bars and miniature pumpkin pies. Call 831-425-7100 or visit hotelparadox.com for reservations.

I wanted to also share a fun Hotel Paradox package, whether you’re a local planning a staycation or have friends or family visiting Santa Cruz sometime this holiday season. The Polar Express™ Train Ride package makes it easy to enjoy this seasonal attraction. Afterward, families are invited to snuggle fireside at Solaire for smores and hot cocoa. The “I Believe” package includes overnight accommodations, an exclusive Golden Ticket required for entry to the train, fresh-baked cookies and milk delivered after check-in, a keepsake “I Believe” sleigh bell, and complimentary parking and Wi-Fi. Price is $175 adults/$29 kids. The Polar Express is traveling to Santa Cruz for the first time this season, recreated to match the sights and sounds of the beloved story. It departs from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. On board the train, dancing chefs will serve warm cookies and hot cocoa to guests, while the Polar Express™ movie soundtrack–including a reading of the story–is played. Santa Claus will meet with each child, delivering silver sleigh bells. Contact the hotel at 831-425-7100 or hotelparadox.com for details.

Chaminade has a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The cost is $59.95 for adults, $18.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Selections include roast turkey with warm orange-cranberry compote, roasted Dijon-crusted lamb leg with mint jelly, apple cider braised pork loin with dried cherry bordelaise and crispy prosciutto, butternut squash ravioli with porcini crème and roast vegetable bruschetta, several salads, and winter squash soup with toasted pepita seeds.

One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz (831) 475-5600

 

Zelda’s has a traditional turkey dinner plus additional items on its holiday menu, beginning at noon. The dinner includes oven-roasted turkey, sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, cranberries and a roll. A 10 oz. adult portion is $19.95, 14 oz. is $23.95. Kids are $11.95 and pumpkin pie is $5.95.

203 Esplanade, Capitola (831) 475-4900

 

Hoffman’s is serving both brunch and dinner on Thanksgiving. Brunch is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner starting at 3 p.m.

1102 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 420-0135

 

Your Place has a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 7 p.m. The cost is $36.95 for adults, $13.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Selections include traditional roast turkey and house-made cranberry sauce, apple pecan bread stuffing, prime rib, honey brown sugar-glazed ham, grilled salmon with lemon caper sauce, eggs benedict (until 2 p.m.), penne pasta Bolognese, roasted beet salad, Caesar salad, pumpkin pie, apple crisp, lemon tart, chocolate cake and carrot cake.

1719 Mission St., Santa Cruz, (831) 426-3564

 

Monterey County

Anton & Michel Restaurant will serve its regular dinner menu plus a prix fixe three-course Thanksgiving dinner noon to 8 p.m. There are two choices for first course including spinach and radicchio salad with grilled pears, toasted walnuts, goat cheese and cinnamon-pear vinaigrette. The entrée is roast free-range turkey with cornbread and sausage stuffing, cranberry-port chutney, sweet potato-green onion mash and more. Dessert choices are pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie. Tea and coffee are included.

Cost is $42 for adults and $21 for kids 12 and under.

Location: Court of the Fountains on Mission between Ocean and Seventh Avenues, Carmel, 831-624-2406

 

Estéban

Estéban at Casa Munras is offering a few options for Thanksgiving Day, from 1 to 7 p.m. The last seating is at 6:30 p.m. A prix fixe three-course meal is $48 for adults and $23 for kids 5-12. Chef Thomas Snyder will offer two appetizer selections including butternut squash soup with rock shrimp and piquillo peppers. Customers can choose an entrée of turkey, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and homemade cranberry sauce or Snake River trout with white beans, garlic confit and bacon lardons. These items plus Snyder’s signature tapas will also be available a la carte.

700 Munras Ave., Monterey, 831-324-6773

 

Fandango is serving a prix fixe meal on Thanksgiving from noon to 8 p.m. Cost is $38.95 for adults and $16.50 for kids 12 and under. Entrée choices are roast Tom turkey with chestnut sage stuffing and fresh cranberry sauce; roast sirloin with mushroom sauce; Virginia baked ham with Hawaiian sauce; grilled salmon filet with Café de Paris butter; and fresh cheese tortellini with basil cream sauce. Mashed potatoes and vegetables accompany all entrees except the tortellini.

223 17th St., Pacific Grove, 831-372-3456.

 

The Portola Hotel and Spa is serving a Thanksgiving buffet from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in its grand ballroom. Selections include California cheeses and cured meats; peel and eat shrimp; carved to order turkey, prime rib and maple glazed country ham; candied garnet yams; Coke Farm beets with feta, pancetta, Marcona almonds and cider vinaigrette; and acorn squash with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds. Desserts will include pecan and pumpkin pie and holiday cookies. Cost is $54.95 for adults, $39.95 for seniors 65 and up, and $25.95 for kids 6-12. There will be live music by pianist David Conley in the ballroom from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. and football games will be showing in the foyer.

Two Portola Plaza, Monterey, 831-649-7874

 

Pacific’s Edge at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands will serve a four-course dinner on Thanksgiving with seatings from 3 to 8 p.m. Cost is $95. Selections include butternut squash soup with Frangelico, brown butter and pepitas; roasted beets with buttermilk mousse, pomegranate seeds, wild arugula and pistachio; and Pacific halibut with mussels, clams, heirloom chile bouillabaisse, saffron rouille and foccacia bread stick.

Hyatt Carmel Highlands, 120 Highlands Dr., Carmel, 831-622-5445

 

Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel is serving a prix fixe meal on Thanksgiving, with seatings from 2 to 9 p.m. Cost is $150 per person with optional wine pairings for $110. Selections include white truffles from Alba with carnaroli risotto ($85 supplement); slow-roasted organic turkey; and 21-day dry aged ribeye.

Monte Verde Street and Seventh Avenue, Carmel, 831-624-8578.

 

The C at Intercontinental The Clement Monterey is serving lunch and dinner on Thanksgiving. Lunch is 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there will be a la carte Thanksgiving dishes in addition to the regular lunch menu. Selections include Diestel Farms turkey with Yukon potato puree and sage-brioche stuffing. A prix fixe three-course dinner, from 5:30 to 10 p.m., costs $85 or $125 with wine pairings. Kids 5-12 cost $45. Choices include persimmon salad with Humboldt Fog, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette; matsutake and sweetbreads with parsnip puree and truffle vinaigrette; Niman Ranch natural ribeye with salsify, chanterelle, creamed spinach and sauce bordelaise; and pumpkin upside down cake. There will be live music from noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. In the evening, a bar menu will be available for bar and patio seating only.

750 Cannery Row, Monterey, 831-375-4800

 

Sardine Factory is serving a four-course prix fixe menu on Thanksgiving. Seatings are available between 1 and 8 p.m. The menu includes a first course of butternut squash bisque with toasted pumpkin seeds and maple Chantilly crème and an entrée of all-natural Diestel turkey with sage dressing, pan gravy, cranberry orange relish, Yukon gold and sweet potato gratin, fresh green beans and buttered baby carrots. The menu costs $49.75 for adults, $47.75 for 65 and older, $25 for kids 6 to 12. It’s free for kids five and under. A limited a la carte menu and the regular kids’ menu will also be available.

701 Wave St., Monterey, (831) 373-3775

 

Andre’s Bouchee is serving a three-course prix fixe menu from 2 to 8:30 p.m. Three appetizer choices include Redwood Farm goat cheese salad with baked cheese, baby greens and honey apple cider vinaigrette; and pumpkin soup with brown butter and cinnamon. Three entrée selections are free-range turkey stuffed with chestnuts and winter truffles with mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce; Bavette (flank) steak; and Monterey black cod with wild mushrooms and cognac reduction. Cost is $46 for adults and $21 for kids 12 and under.

Mission Street between Ocean and Seventh, Carmel, 831-626-7880

 

TusCA Ristorante at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa is serving a buffet brunch from 1 to 6 p.m. (last seating is at 5:45). Selections include pumpkin soup; seasonal salads; a carving station with roasted turkey and honey ham; a pasta station; and sides such as green bean casserole and glazed yams with marshmallow gratin. Cost is $55 for adults, $25 for children ages 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under. The price includes one glass of champagne for adults over age 21, or sparkling cider. There will be live jazz from 3 to 7 p.m.

1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 831-657-6675

 

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Restaurants for Easter in Santa Cruz, SF and the Greater Bay Area

Fogo de Chao on Santana Row is serving Easter Brunch

Fogo de Chao on Santana Row is serving Easter Brunch

Dining out for Easter 2014? It’s this coming Sunday; here are some restaurant highlights for Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and the Bay Area.

Santa Cruz Restaurants

Chaminade
The Chaminade offers its annual Easter Brunch Buffet from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; the price is $50.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. Selections include prime rib, honey baked ham with Jack Daniels glaze, rosemary and garlic encrusted lamb leg, a seafood bar with teriyaki salmon, peel and eat prawns, fried calamari and more, omelets made to order, and Belgian waffles. Additional highlights: several salads, fresh berries, chocolate fondue, and a chocolate fountain. There will be Easter egg hunts for the kids at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz, www.chaminade.com

Johnny’s Harborside
Johnny’s Harborside is offering a special Easter brunch menu from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (last seating at 2:15 p.m.). Dinner service begins at 4 p.m. with a few specials in addition to the regular menu. Easter brunch specials include a variety of Eggs Benedicts (such as a crab cake variation for $16, traditional for $12), a smoked salmon and goat cheese quiche ($14), and a proscuitto omelet with asparagus, hearts of palm, spinach, and housemade dou latte cheese ($14). Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.
493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz, www.johnnysharborside.com

Hoffman’s is serving brunch until 2:30; dinner is served from 3-9:30. Make reservations via OpenTable or at (831) 420-0135.
1102 Pacific Ave., hoffmanssantacruz.com

San Francisco Restaurants
A16

A16 will host a festive Easter brunch and dinner featuring an a la carte menu with creations from Chef Chris Thompson and Pastry Chef Candace Rowan. For brunch, A16 will offer dishes such as Ceci Fettucine with braised sugo, fava, and pecorino and Pastiera Napoletana, an Italian cake made of ricotta cheese that hails from Naples. For dinner, guests can choose from menu items like Roasted Leg of Lamb with senise peppers, English peas, and tendrils and Cassata Siciliana, a traditional round sponge cake from Palermo with fruit juice and ricotta cheese. The special brunch offerings will be available in addition to the restaurant’s regular menu. A16 will be open from 11 am to 2:30 pm for lunch and 5-10 pm for dinner.  For more information on A16 San Francisco or to make reservations, visit www.a16sf.com or call 415.771.2216.

CHAYA Brasserie
This Easter, celebrate the holiday on the water at the Embarcadero gem, CHAYA Brasserie. Offering a special menus like the young adults’ menu for $15 and the 3-course menu for $42, CHAYA will feature dishes such as  Smoked Trout and Crispy Potato with crème fraiche, ikura, and shiso salsa verde; Castelle French Toast with caramelized banana, almonds, and fresh fruits; and Five Spiced Duck Confit Hash with piquillo peppers, red onions, and fried duck egg. For an additional $12, guests can enjoy bottomless champagne or mimosas. Reservations can be made by calling 415.777.8688 or visiting thechaya.com/SanFrancisco.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Top of the Mark Executive Chef Nenad Stefanovic presents the annual Easter buffet on Sunday, April 20. In additional to the views to be had from the legendary sky lounge, guests will enjoy a selection of raw bar items, antipasto, salad, and small plates including Almond cucumber gazpacho and Roasted Wild Mushroom with crostini and basil oil. Entrée selections include Alaskan Halibut with caramelized fennel, fire roasted peppers and citrus beurre blanc; Kurabota Pork Loin with Brussels sprouts and whole grain mustard sauce; and Saffron Couscous with spring vegetables and parmesan broth. Brunch favorites can be had at the omelet station and a build-your-own buttermilk waffle station. Guests of Top of the Mark’s Easter brunch will enjoy limitless mimosas, entertainment by pianist Michael Athens, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Reservations can be made by calling InterContinental Mark Hopkins: 415.392.3434.  Easter brunch is served from 10am – 2pm; Adults are $109 and children between the ages of four and 12 are $59. Visit www.topofthemark.com.

Napa
Join Silverado Resort & Spa for their spectacular Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet from 10:30 am-2:30 pm with a menu designed and prepared by acclaimed Executive Chef Jeffrey Jake and his team. Traditional brunch selections include hand-carved gently roasted meats, lavish hot & cold displays and an array of decadent desserts for $60 per adult and $25 per child (ages 4-9).

Los Gatos
Visit award-winning Dio Deka for an Easter filled with traditional Greek favorites seasoned with California technique from Chef Jeff Fitzgerald. Weather permitting, seating will be available in the restaurant’s beautiful outdoor patio as well as in the dining room. The à la carte brunch menu will feature dishes such as Keftethakia, lamb meatballs with blistered grapes, kalamansi yogurt and a light herb-broth ($13); Zambonopita, a crispy puff-pastry stuffed with smoked ham, green onion, feta, kasseri and ricotta cheeses ($16); Plevrakia, slow-cooked pork ribs rubbed with Greek spices, Attiki honey and lemon glaze, and sour cherries with ouzo ($15); and Cinnamon “Greek” Toast with whipped vanilla butter and maple syrup ($14). Brunch will be available from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 408-354-7700. Regular dinner service will resume that evening.

San Jose
Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse in San Jose will offer a lively and elegant dining alternative – a Brazilian twist on Easter brunch. The Easter Sunday menu will feature the restaurant’s extensive variety of fire-roasted meats that are specially carved to each guest’s preference. Diners can enjoy selections such as the house specialty picanha sirloin, filet mignon, ribeye, lamb chops, chicken wrapped in bacon, and pork ribs, to name a few, or try the newly-introduced lighter seafood selection. Additionally, Fogo offers a gourmet salad and sides bar with an abundance of choices, and Southern Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, and caramelized bananas are served family style. A tempting dessert menu, creative and classic cocktails, and an award-winning wine list complement the dining experience. Lunch is served from 11:30am – 3:00pm and dinner is served 4:00pm – 9:00pm on Easter Sunday. Price: $51.50 (salad bar only – $26.50); kids 6 and under are complimentary. Children 7 to 12 are half price.

Palo Alto
The Sea by Alexander Steakhouse located in Palo Alto offers a special three-course pix fixe brunch menu for Easter Sunday. Tuna tartare, lobster scrambled eggs, scallops and New York steak are just a few of the selections on this lavish menu prepared by Executive Chef Yu Min Lin. Three courses for $45, and other items a la carte. From 10:30am – 1:30pm. Reservations: (650) 213-1111.
Monterey
On Sunday, April 20, 2014 Restaurant 1833 will open early and host a special Easter Brunch from 10:30-2:30 with a three-course menu for $50. Located in the historic California landmark, the Stokes Adobe house, guests can enjoy dishes from New Executive Chef Abby Burk with selections such as Smoked White Sturgeon Tartine with pumpernickel bread, pickled red onions, capers, and cream cheese; Lemon and Ricotta Waffles topped with marinated berries and whipped cream; Slow Roasted Spring Lamb Rachetta with feta, black olives, tomato confit, bread salad, and rosemary jus; and Mignardise Board of marshmallow peeps, raspberry jellies, chocolate mendiants, and pistachio financier. As always, available for a $6 add on are 1833’s infamous Bacon Biscuits served with a sausage gravy. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made with a credit card through Open Table or by calling (831) 643-1833.

East Bay
A16 Rockridge

Celebrating its first Easter in Oakland, A16 Rockridge will offer special brunch and dinner offerings by Chef Rocky Maselli. For brunch, guests can choose from an a la carte menu with dishes such as Crespelle with rhubarb compote and whipped cream fraiche and candied almonds and Capunti with lamb heart sugo, gava beans, and pecorino reserva. For dinner, the a la carte menu will feature savory dishes such as Verdetto, Easter Lamb with egg, snap peas, pea greens, and grana padano and a special dessert of Pastiera Napoletana with cinnamon, gelato, and orange caramel. An Easter-inspired libation will be available for the holiday as well. The Carrot Top features Boyd + Blair vodka, carrot, grapefruit, and lemon juice with ginger syrup and garnished with festive carrot fronds.  A16 Rockridge will be open from 11 am to 9 pm and switch from its dinner menu at 4 pm.  For more information or to make reservations, visit www.a16rockridge.com or call 510.768.8003.

Bocanova
This Easter Sunday, join Bocanova for two special dishes: A 7-hour leg of lamb Oaxacan-style with beans and tomatillo salsa and a Dungeness Crab Benedict for brunch. Visit www.bocanova.com.

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Date Night Santa Cruz expands to 14 restaurants in Aptos and Santa Cruz

Food from Aptos restaurant Au Midi, a participant in Date Night Santa Cruz

Food from Aptos restaurant Au Midi, a participant in Date Night Santa Cruz

Date Night Santa Cruz is a unique dinner-and-a-movie program that began last December, and it just expanded big-time. “In the short three months since launch, the program has gone way above and beyond our initial expectations,” says Ike Jablon, Director of Marketing & Special Events for Nickelodeon Theatres—which also encompasses the Del Mar & Aptos Cinema. “To celebrate, we’re adding nine new restaurants into the mix to make the perfect Date Night for just about anyone!”

Yesterday the number of restaurants involved increased to 14—great news for the local community! Here’s the skinny: customers buy a $50 product that includes dinner and a movie for two. The tickets can be redeemed any Monday through Thursday evening, except holidays and special events. When you purchase your Date Night package, you select which restaurant you are buying a ticket for (they are mostly in Santa Cruz, plus a couple in Aptos), but you can decide later which movie theatre you’re going to of the three in the “Nick Family.” Each restaurant gives customers a certain value to spend on dinner–usually $50. For more information, see the Nick’s Date Night web site.

Jablon created the program in partnership with The Downtown Association, and he is thrilled that so many restaurants have decided to collaborate. These include family-run French bistro Au Midi in Aptos, a perfect stop if you’re headed to Aptos Cinema. Michel Loubiere of Au Midi explains why he and his wife Muriel—the restaurant’s chef—joined the program: “I thought it was a good idea to promote the idea of going out at night and having a more cosmopolitan feel,” he says. “Dinner and a movie kind of remind me of a prix fixe dinner theater you can have in New York. I am happy to be part of it!”

More details:
Tickets for “Date Night Santa Cruz” all cost $50 regardless of the restaurant, and can be purchased at any of the partner restaurants or at the box offices for The Nick, Del Mar Theatre or Aptos Cinema.

Participating restaurants (in alphabetical order)
Assembly
Au Midi
Café Rio
Café Sparrow
Chocolate
515 Kitchen & Cocktails
Gabriella
Hindquarter
Hoffman’s
Hula’s
Kauboi
Laili
Louie’s Cajun Kitchen & Bourbon Bar
Soif

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Last-minute Valentine’s Day restaurants in Santa Cruz area and Monterey

Pasta at Lago di Como in Santa Cruz

Pasta at Lago di Como in Santa Cruz

Valentine’s Day is Friday – many restaurants in the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas are fully booked– but others are still available. I’ve listed a few that still have available reservations via OpenTable.com.

Here are my Valentine’s guides for other cities, with menu highlights:

Also, Chaminade in Santa Cruz doesn’t have online reservations — you need to call for availability — but it does have two large dining areas, plus a few other Valentine’s-and-beyond specials worth reading about.

Chaminade (831-475-5600) is serving Friday dinner from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Executive Chef Kirsten Ponza has created a palate pleasing, heart pounding, three course prix fixe menu to be enjoyed at Linwood’s Bar & Grill or the Sunset Dining Room.  Guests will enjoy a choice of salad, entrees that include filet mignon, duck confit, double cut pork chop, petrale sole or a roasted wild mushroom lasagna, and a delectable dessert.  Price is $65 per person not including tax or gratuity.

Here are Chaminade’s wine, spa, and hotel specials:

Sip & Savor Sparkling Wines of the World
On Saturday, February 15th, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Chaminade Resort & Spa is hosting a sparkling wines of the world tasting event.  The package includes a sampling of four different types of sparkling wines including prosecco, cava, brut and blanc de blanc paired with savory menu items, a guest speaker who will share the nuances of champagnes and sparkling wines from grape to bottle and “how to” tips and demonstrations.  Package price is $50 per person or $90 per couple plus tax and gratuity.   For reservations and information, call 831-475-5600.

Spaaatacular Valentine’s Day Treatments
The Spa at Chaminade has created two exclusive treatments featuring aphrodisiac ingredients guaranteed to heighten the senses of the most discerning spa goer – including Aphrodite herself!  Be My Valentine package includes an antioxidant cocoa body wrap, a seasonal rosemary and peppermint facial, a glass of Gloria Ferrer champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries.  Package price is $352 and includes a 20% savings and includes gratuity.  Serenity for Two includes two 80-minute simply Zen massages in The Spa’s couples room, followed by a relaxing reprise in a heated whirlpool on The Spa’s private patio and topped off with a glass of Gloria Ferrer champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for two.  Price is $376 and includes a 20% savings and includes gratuity.  For reservations and information call The Spa at Chaminade at 831-465-3465.  Both treatments will be offered February 1-28, 2014.

An Affair to Remember
Spend Valentine’s weekend at Chaminade Resort & Spa overlooking Monterey Bay and enjoy luxurious accommodations for two, a bottle of sparkling wine or cider, chocolate covered strawberries, a $75 resort credit in Linwood’s Bar & Grill and 20% off select spa services and spa products.  Package prices start at $259, not including tax or resort fee.  For reservations or information call 1-800-283-6569 or visit www.chaminade.com. This deal might be available later in February, as well.

VALENTINE’S DINNER VIA OPENTABLE – SANTA CRUZ AREA
As of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the following restaurants (listed alphabetically) still had selected Valentine’s Day dinner reservations available. Call or make reservations through OpenTable.com:

  • Café Mare  (831) 458-1212
  • Chocolate the Restaurant (831) 427-9900
  • Hoffman’s Bistro (831) 420-0135
  • Johnny’s Harborside (831) 479-3430
  • Lago Di Como (831) 454-8257
  • Pearl of the Ocean (831) 457-2350
  • Rosie McCann’s (831) 426-9930

VALENTINE’S DINNER VIA OPENTABLE – MONTEREY AREA
As of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the following restaurants (listed alphabetically) still had selected Valentine’s Day dinner reservations available. Call or make reservations through OpenTable.com:

    • Domenico’s on the Wharf (831) 372-3655
    • the C restaurant & bar (831) 375-4800
    • Fish Hopper (831) 372-8543
    • Jacks-Portola Hotel & Spa (831) 649-2698
    • Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar (831) 372-2628
    • Tarpy’s Roadhouse (831) 647-1444

TusCA Ristorante (831) 372-1234

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Santa Cruz and South Bay restaurants open on Christmas, Part 1 of 2

Aquarius in Santa Cruz

Aquarius in Santa Cruz

It’s the countdown to Christmas; do you have your restaurant reservations yet for Santa Cruz or another South Bay area? Here are details and menu highlights for several venues; I’ll publish a few more tomorrow and also let you know of some restaurants that are closed for a few days over the holidays.

Santa Cruz Restaurants

Aquarius
Located at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn overlooking the Wharf, Aquarius is serving a special 3-course prix fixe menu on Christmas Day from 1-8:30 p.m. The cost is $48; there will be a kids’ menu available. Entrée choices include 12-ounce prime rib with horseradish crème fraiche and roasted root vegetables, and chanterelle mushroom pappardelle. Call (831) 460-5012 for reservations or more information.
175 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

Chaminade offers a Christmas Eve buffet from 5-9 p.m. The cost is $46.95 for adults, $15.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. On Christmas Day the restaurant is serving a buffet from noon-6 p.m. The price is $49.95 for adults, $16.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Visit the holiday web site to view menus. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Hindquarter
The restaurant is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 12/24: Hindquarter is open from 5-9 p.m. 12/25: Hindquarter is open 2-8 p.m. The restaurant is serving the regular menu plus holiday specials. Call (831) 426-7770 for reservations.
303 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz

Solaire at Hotel Paradox
On Christmas Day Solaire is offering a four-course prix fixe menu from noon-8p.m.: $45 for adults, $35 for seniors, $14 for kids 6 and older, and free for kids 5 and under. For reservations call (831) 600-4545.
611 Ocean St, Santa Cruz

Also note that Hoffman’s is open on Christmas Eve, but closed on Christmas Day. For Christmas specials visit the restaurant’s web site at hoffmanssantacruz.com.

San Jose

LB Steak
The Santana Row restaurant is open on Christmas Eve from 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. It’s offering a regular menu at lunch. At dinner there will be a limited regular menu, plus a special $64.50 prix fixe four-course dinner (the prix fixe selections are also available a la carte). Entrée choices include crispy roast pork shoulder with parsnip puree, roasted cauliflower, cipollini onions, and salsa verde. Call (408) 244-1180 for reservations.
334 Santana Row, Suite 1000, San Jose

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Santa Cruz holiday shopping: restaurant bonus gift certificate offers

Dry aged filet mignon from Paradise Beach Grille

Dry aged filet mignon from Paradise Beach Grille

If you’re in Santa Cruz or Capitola and still have some holiday shopping left to do, you’ll be happy to know that several restaurants are offering “gift certificate bonus deals.” Here are a few options:

  • Takara Japanese Restaurant & Grill: Buy a $25 gift card and get a $5 voucher. Offer available until December 24, 2013.
  • Paradise Beach Grille: Buy an $80 gift certificate and get $100 instead.
  • Hoffman’s Bistro & Patisserie: Buy a $50 gift card and receive a free $10 gift card. Visit web site to print offer.
  • Hula’s Island Grill: Purchase a $50 gift card and get a $10 card free. Purchase $100 and get a $20 card free. Offer available until December 24, 2013.
  • Erik’s Deli: Buy a $25 gift card and receive a free “sandwich with character” or entrée. Offer expires Jan. 2, 2013.
  • Peet’s Coffee and Tea: Buy a $25 gift card and receive a free medium beverage. Offer valid Dec. 16-24, 2013 at participating Peet’s retail locations.

Also, as of Mon. Dec. 16, Costco in Santa Cruz had several restaurant gift certificate bargains, including Manuel’s (buy two $50 gift cards for $80), Kianti’s (buy four $25 gift cards for $80), Coldstone Creamery (buy four $10 gift cards for $28), and Peet’s Coffee and Tea (buy five $20 cards for $80).

Happy holiday shopping!

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Event Santa Cruz offers food-themed dialogue plus restaurant walk

The marquee from the first Event Santa Cruz in September 2013

The marquee from the first Event Santa Cruz in September 2013

Hungry for a new type of community event? This one sounds intriguing: The November incarnation of monthly speaker series “Event Santa Cruz” has an edible theme.  On Nov. 20, 2013, attendees will hear seven special guests who make a difference while feeding folks in Santa Cruz and elsewhere (some literally feeding, some metaphorically).

The scheduled speakers are:

• The Hoffman Family – Owners of Hoffman’s Bistro and Patisserie
• Aaron Hinde – President LifeAID Beverage Company, Inc.
• Scott Roseman – Founder and President of New Leaf Community Markets
• Rachel Otis – Director Child Nutrition at Live Oak School District
• Patrice Keet & Rhiannon Crain – Members of the Board of Directors for The Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery
• Ian Bell – Local Singer/ Songwriter
There are seats for 165 people for the general event and there is a unique “downtown food walk” beforehand that’s limited to the first 30 people that sign up. Those 30 will visit four local venues—including The Truck Stop at the downtown farmers market—to sample food. Tickets are the same price ($10) whether or not you’re going on the food walk.

Matthew Swinnerton started Event Santa Cruz to help tell the stories of local businesses and the hard-working people that make these businesses run. This is the first “themed” Event Santa Cruz night. “I wanted to showcase entrepreneurs that love what they do, have a passion for good quality healthy food and make a living doing so,” says Swinnerton.

While some of the speakers are more well known in the community, like Roseman, some are less visible—and they all have interesting insights to share. “Rachel Otis is transforming how our children are being fed school lunches,” adds Swinnerton. When she told me that they were serving bok choy wraps and other health food to the kids I knew I wanted her at the Event.”

When asked how Keet, Crain, and Bell fit the edible theme, Swinnerton responded with the following “Keet and Crain are going to show how we can be creative with food and more importantly how children can be creative with food.” As for Bell, Swinnerton mentioned the fact that after a good meal, it’s “nice to sit back and relax and be entertained by an amazing performer.”

The first Event Santa Cruz was September 18, 2013. The six speakers included Kendra Baker (The Penny Ice Creamery and more), Danny Keith (Grind Out Hunger, Santa Cruz Surf Shop, Santa Cruz Warriors, etc.), and Ryan Coonerty (NextSpace, and former Mayor).

The monthly events take place at the Nickelodeon Theatre, 210 Lincoln St..
Buy tickets online.

Wednesday Nov. 20, 2013
Main event: 7-9 p.m.
Downtown food walk: 5:30 p.m.

Santa Cruz Restaurant Week Oct. 2-9 offers $25 3-course dinners

Food at Severino's in Aptos, one of more than 30 participants in Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2013. Photo courtesy of SCRW Facebook page

Food at Severino’s in Aptos, one of more than 30 participants in Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2013. Photo courtesy of SCRW Facebook page

Foodie alert: it’s time for the fifth annual Santa Cruz Restaurant Week where more than 30 local restaurants – from Aptos, Soquel and Capitola to Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Ben Lomond, and Felton – serve three-course gourmet dinners for only $25. And you can win a free Santa Cruz Restaurant Week dinner through my web site! Read end of article for details.
Special menus are offered Oct. 2-9, 2013,  and typically include three options for each course: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Customers choose one selection from each course.

The 2012 Restaurant Week was very popular and a lot of fun for those of us who participated as customers! Restaurant reservations are recommended but not required.
I will post a few menus and at least one review in the next few days.

Restaurants that are participating, in alphabetical order:
• Aquarius at the Dream Inn
• Booka
• Café Rio
• Center Street Grill
• Chocolate
• The Crow’s Nest
• El Palomar
• Gabriella Café
• Hindquarter Bar & Grill
• Hoffman’s Bistro & Patisserie
• Hula’s Island Grill
• Ideal Bar & Grill
• Johnny’s Harborside
• La Posta
• Laili
• Linwood’s at Chaminade Resort
• Louie’s Cajun Kitchen & Bourbon Bar
• Main Street Garden & Café
• Michael’s on Main
• Oak Tree Ristorante
• Oswald
• Pearl of the Ocean
• Red Restaurant & Bar
• Ristorante Italiano
• Sanderlings at Seascape Resort
• Severino’s Bar & Grill
• Soif
• Stonehouse Bar & Grill at the Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley
• Süda
• The Point Chophouse & Lounge
• Tyrolean Inn & Restaurant
• Zelda’s On The Beach
• 515 Kitchen & Cocktails
For more information, visit the event web site.

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THE CONTEST:
This contest is open to readers of examiner.com and santacruzfoodie.com, but employees of Examiner.com are not eligible to enter.
PRIZE – One winner receives two $25 gift certificates for dinner at Center Street Grill during Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2013. To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Santa Cruz Restaurant Week.”
Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page and include “Santa Cruz Restaurant Week.”

Either way, the entry deadline is Thurs. Oct. 3 at 9 a.m. I will pull a name from all entries and notify the winner by email.

Center Street Grill’s 2013 Restaurant Week menu includes entrée choices of Grilled Salmon Puttanesca with capers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, mashed potatoes, and green beans, Seafood Fettucine with crab, shrimp, smoked salmon, mushrooms, and lemon cream sauce, and Grilled Pork Loin Chop with blue cheese & peaches, mashed potatoes, and asparagus.
On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Restaurants for Mother’s Day in Santa Cruz & nearby including Monterey, Part 1

James Beard-nominated Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

James Beard-nominated Restaurant 1833 in Monterey

Mother’s Day is around the corner – better make reservations if you haven’t already! Here are details on a few restaurants in the Santa Cruz and nearby areas. I’ll post more tomorrow.

Santa Cruz & Aptos Restaurants

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria

Santa Cruz restaurant Lago di Como, located in the former site of Nuevo, is serving a special Mother’s Day brunch from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Call (831) 454-8257 for reservations. Read more on the restaurant in my January 2013 article. Note that Lago di Como recently expanded its hours and now serves weekday lunch (except Mondays when it’s closed) and weekend brunch.

2-1490 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

Johnny’s Harborside

Santa Cruz restaurant Johnny’s Harborside is offering special dishes for both brunch (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and dinner (4-8:30 p.m.) in addition to its regular menu. Mother’s Day brunch specials include lobster, ratatouille, goat cheese and asparagus omelet with choice of potato hash, fruit, or polenta ($16), garden frittata ($12), and sauteed sea bass filet with goat cheese mashed potatoes and more ($16). Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.

493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz

Bittersweet Bistro

Aptos restaurant Bittersweet Bistro is serving a Mother’s Day champagne brunch buffet from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The buffet includes Teriyaki Glazed King Salmon, Greek Style Roasted Leg of Spring Lamb, Bourbon Glazed Ham, Truffled Garden Vegetable Risotto, Bittersweet Grand Marnier French Toast, Classic Eggs Benedict, Made to Order Omelets, Croissants & Muffins, Pesto Pasta Salad, and Tomato Mozzarella Salad – plus a dessert extravaganza including chocolate fountains. There will be a special kids’ table with Grilled Cheese, PB & J Sandwiches, Chicken Fingers and Cookies. The price is $55 Adults, $20 Children 6-12, and $7 Kids Five and Under. For the 9:00 a.m. seating only, receive a $10 discount per adult. Call (831) 662-9799 for reservations. Also, dinner reservations are available from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Bittersweet will be offering its regular dinner menu plus a few specials.

787 Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Aptos

Hoffman’s

Hoffman’s, located in downtown Santa Cruz, is serving Mother’s Day brunch and dinner. The restaurant is featuring its regular menus plus specials during both meals. Call (831) 420-0135 for reservations.

1102 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz

The Chaminade

The Chaminade offers its annual Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 9 a.m.-3 p.m; the price is $49.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. The menu includes whole poached salmon, Dungeness crab legs, roast prime rib of beef, bourbon glazed honey ham, cheese blintzes with raspberry coulis, a salad bar, pastries and breads, and a chocolate fountain. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.

One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Hollins House

The Pasatiempo Golf Club’s Hollins House is serving a brunch buffet from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The price is $45.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids 6 and under. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.

20 Clubhouse Rd, Santa Cruz

Monterey Restaurants

Restaurant 1833

Restaurant 1833 in Monterey offers a Mother’s Day brunch to remember. This James Beard-nominated hotspot is opening up early and Chef Levi Mezick is serving up delicious dishes inspired by Central California and his own upbringing in Southern Virginia. The menu features a la carte items such as Poached Egg Cocote with spinach, béchamel sauce, parmesan; Sunny Side Grits with house made Andouille and bacon lardon; Pork Belly with cornbread, pickled beans, buttermilk; Bacon Biscuits & Gravy with sausage, béchamel sauce; Frittata with asparagus, parmesan, tomato; Diver Sea Scallops with cauliflower, black grapes and toasted almonds; and served family-style, a Bone-In Ribeye Steak and Eggs with soft scrambled eggs and rustic potato or Whole Roasted Pork Belly Hash with poached eggs and crispy potato. Brunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Call (831) 643-1833 for reservations.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

 

Santa Cruz restaurants open on Christmas, and 12 Days of Xmas Giveaway Day 10: Hindquarter

Seared salmon with roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts, yellow tomato purée at Aquarius, which is open both Xmas Eve and Xmas Day

It’s Day 10 of Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner/Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Today’s prize is a $50 gift card from the Hindquarter Bar & Grille. See end of article for how to enter.

Hindquarter and many other restaurants in the area are serving special holiday meals on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, while some restaurants are closed. Here are some highlights.

Hindquarter: Open on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. 12/24: Dining room closed at lunch, but bar is open at 11:30 a.m. for lunches, appetizers, etc. The dining room is open from 5 – 9:30 p.m. serving the regular menu plus holiday specials. 12/25: Closed at lunch. The dining room is open from 2 – 8 p.m. serving the regular menu plus holiday specials. Call (831) 426-7770 for reservations.

Aquarius is open on Christmas Eve (regular menu) and Christmas Day. On 12/25, there is a $55 4-course menu from 12:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. See web site for menu details. There is also a special kids’ menu available. Call (831) 460-5012 for reservations.

Michael’s on Main: Open on Christmas Eve. The bar opens at 2 p.m., and the dining room is open from 3 – 8 p.m. with a special set menu. Call (831) 479-9777 for reservations. Closed on Christmas Day.

Hoffman’s: Open on Christmas Eve, serving the regular menu plus an optional 3-course prix fixe menu for $38. See web site for menu; call (831) 420-0135 for reservations. Closed on Christmas Day. Hoffman’s is running a pie promotion until 12/31 (apple, marionberry, pumpkin, and pecan): buy one pie, get half off the second one. Normal price is $14; special price is $21 for 2.

Bittersweet Bistro: Restaurant open on Christmas Eve featuring regular menu plus nightly specials with first seating at 4 p.m. and last seating at 8 p.m. Call (831) 662-9799 for reservations. Café open 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Both café and restaurant closed on Christmas Day.

 

Closed for the holidays:

 

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THE CONTEST:

Reminder — during the entire “12 Days of Christmas” promotion, each person can only win one prize.

DAY TEN PRIZE – The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate from Hindquarter in Santa Cruz.

To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the word “Hindquarter.”

Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page, and include the word “Hindquarter.”

Either way, the entry deadline is Sat. Dec. 22 at 5 p.m.

The drawing will take place that evening; the winner will be notified via email.